Fighting a battle of wits


By Sue Curtis



One of my mom’s favorite expressions was, “I’m going crazy…and it’s a short trip!” It popped into my head a couple of weeks ago, when I lost a battle of wits with our local cable provider. You see, we have a second house in which my in-laws had lived. It happens to be right next door to our own home.

For years we had cable in that house, as well as our own. After mom passed away, we changed the cable bill for that address to our name. Immediately, we noticed that the bill was addressed to the wrong place. It was the right number and street, but said “north” instead of “south.” We continued to receive the bill each month, probably due to the efficiency of our local post office personnel.

We tried to call the cable company a couple of times to change the address, but were told emphatically that we had to do that in person, at the cable company office. So off to the cable office I went.

I stepped up to the clerk at the cable company and told her I was there to pay the bill. I placed the bill and my check (with my address clearly displayed) on the counter in front of her. Then I said, in my nicest tones, perhaps she could get in to the computer and correct the “north” to “south,” since that was the correct address.

She responded equally politely that she was unable to do that because no such street existed. I pointed to my check and replied that indeed such a street did exist. Further, people on that street had been paying for cable services for over 20 years.

She then said that the problem was that the cable company could not change the address in their system because “they” provide the addresses. When I inquired who “they” were, she indicated it must be the “post office or something.”

Since I knew with absolute certainty that the post office had the correct address , I submitted that it was just a typo and she could change the “N” on the address to an “S.” She again responded that this was not possible because no such street existed.

This was the point I began to think I was, in fact going crazy. I again pointed to my check and indicated that the street was quite real. She then suggested she could add a forwarding address from “north” to “south.” I thought that was ludicrous, but if it would get the job done, I would go along.

This yielded no results. She said that the computer wouldn’t accept it because the street didn’t exist. I began to giggle, somewhat hysterically, thanked her taking our payment, and left the office.

My faithful reader and email buddy, Betty H., told me she had a similar experience with a financial institution. Only in her case, they corrected the problem and charged her for having a “wrong address.” If I’m on a short trip to crazy, at least I’m not alone! Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.

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By Sue Curtis

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.